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Who's on First?
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Who's on First?
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"Who's on first. What's on second. I Don't Know's on third." One of the classic comedy sketches of all time is now transformed into a priceless picture book—and it's a great read for kids of all...
"Who's on first. What's on second. I Don't Know's on third." One of the classic comedy sketches of all time is now transformed into a priceless picture book—and it's a great read for kids of all...
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Description-

  • "Who's on first. What's on second. I Don't Know's on third." One of the classic comedy sketches of all time is now transformed into a priceless picture book—and it's a great read for kids of all ages. Follow the mistaken identities, confusion, and lots of laughs as Rabbit and Bear act out this scene. The book will appeal to Abbott and Costello fans, baseball fans, and anyone who enjoys funny banter-driven picture books. Illustrated in full color with slightly retro stylized illustrations.
    "The book is stunning ~ dad and Bud would be proud!!"—Chris Costello, Daughter of Lou Costello

About the Author-

  • WILLIAM "BUD" ABBOTT and LOU COSTELLO are among the most famous duos in entertainment history. Together they starred in 36 films and made countless appearances on television and radio. In 1956, they were inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. In 1999, Time magazine named "Who's on First?" the best comedy sketch of the 20th century.

    JOHN MARTZ is a cartoonist and illustrator who lives in Toronto with his wife and dog. John loves cartoons, comics, and comedy and grew up watching Abbott and Costello movies. He listened to "Who's on First?" so many times as a kid that he had it memorized.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    November 19, 2012
    “Who’s On First?” is one of the crown jewels of our comedic cultural heritage, so a tip of the hat to Martz (Dear Flyary) for introducing a new generation to its glories. With source material so good, can any adaptation live up to expectations? Maybe not, but Martz does a solid job of translating the skit to picture book form. Abbott’s players with “some funny names” receive actual personas (Who is a snake, What is a blue dog, I Don’t Know is a chicken), and Martz breaks down the story into comics-style framing and speech bubbles. The rapid-fire rapport between Costello (a plump white rabbit) and Abbott (a big brown bear) is drained of some of its manic energy, and Martz’s stylized digital characterizations also dial down the real joy (and meta-meaning) of the skit: Costello’s high-pitched, escalating agitation in the face of Abbott’s gravel-voiced rationality and authority. So here’s the plan: play one of the many versions of the skit available online. Once those amazing voices and rhythms are ingrained in readers’ minds, read the book aloud. And be prepared to turn the pages—fast. Ages 7–up.

  • Kirkus

    March 1, 2013
    One of the funniest comedy routines ever to be heard doesn't successfully translate to print although nearly every word is intact. Abbott appears as a red-nosed bear, and Costello is a hapless rabbit, with both creatures dressed in striped shirts and red baseball caps. The dialogue is variously presented in word bubbles, boxes or "shouted" in explosive, full-page format, with all the text in sizes appropriate to the characters' levels of frustration. Superbright green, yellow, red and blue backgrounds make it all pop. But in book form, the dialogue comes off as merely amusing rather than laugh-out-loud funny, partly since in its original form it was completely auditory. The two men delivered the lines in fast-paced, smartly timed patter with voice inflections indicating annoyance, anger, impatience or resignation. The fun was in the misunderstanding of the wordplay. While Martz's cartoon animals indicate their emotions in their body language and facial expressions, it's just a little flat. In addition, depicting each player as an animal (Who is a snake, What is a dog, etc.) makes it possible for readers to actually visualize a "real" team and diminishes the wordplay. To work at all, it must be read aloud in two distinct, enthusiastic voices so young readers can share the experience. Not up to the original--leave it on the shelf and find a recording of the real Abbott and Costello. (afterword, biographical notes) (Picture book. 7-10)

    COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    March 1, 2013

    K-Gr 4-Abbott and Costello's beloved comedy routine receives a picture-book treatment, complete with comical illustrations. A tall brown bear plays the coach (Abbott), a chubby white bunny plays the catcher (Costello), and they go back and forth about the oddly named members of their baseball team. "Who's on first. What's on second. I Don't Know's on third." Martz's expressive characters cavort on backgrounds that pop with appealing color. Clever page formatting conveys the pacing that is such an integral part of the laughs. At bottom, though, "Who's on First?" is about auditory humor, so the translation to a visual medium, while it may illuminate the jokes for kids, can't quite capture the magic of the original. Historical notes about the comedians and their routine appear at the end of the book.-Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, MD

    Copyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Newsday "Martz's clever graphics make the premise clear to the youngest readers...Parents can now introduce the routine earlier than has been traditional for young fans and, as we all know, participating in tradition is the essence of the love of baseball."
  • USA Today, 3 out of 4 stars "...miscommunications have never been so much fun."
  • Sacramento Bee "...delightfully illustrated...If you have children who enjoy baseball or softball, this is a perfect complement to their personal library."
  • Wired's Geek Mom "...cannot stop smiling...[this] delightfully illustrated take on the classic comedy skit by Abbott and Costello is for the young . . . and young-at-heart."
  • The Talking Walnut "Who's on First? is a delightfully funny book with illustrations that bring the routine onto a new platform that even the youngest fan will understand and enjoy."
  • Examiner.com "Your totz will be instant fans."
  • Kid Lit Reviews "...this book's a hit with me"
  • Mollie Sultenfuss, Pages Books & Coffee, Newton, KS "A very funny read..."
  • Publishers Weekly "My twelve-year-old thinks both the words and the pictures are very funny and laughed out loud reading it."

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    Quirk Books
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